Exclusive: After CBN crackdown, online stock trader Rise Vest assures investors

Godwin Emefiele

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By Abankula

Online stock trading company Rise Vest Technologies Limited swiftly assured investors on Tuesday night that their investments are safe, in the wake of CBN crackdown.

The confidence boosting message by Rise Vest followed reports that the Central Bank had frozen its accounts and five similar companies for foreign exchange infractions.

Others affected are Bamboo Systems Technology Limited, Bamboo Systems Technology Limited OPNS,Chaka Technologies Limited, CTL/Business Expenses and Trove Technologies Limited.

Rise Vest told its clients on Tuesday night: With regard to the latest news about us and our FX dealings, you can be sure that your investments ad funds are safely managed and that funding and withdrawals will continue to be processed as normal and that all our US operations remain intact.

“WE will work with regulators, as we alway have to ensure that all issues raised are properly addressed.

“However, this does not affect our users or their investments, which are managed by regulated third parties, in all jurisdictions in which we operate”.

A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja granted an exparte motion which sought temporary freezing of bank accounts belonging to Rise Vest and other companies, which have been offering brokerage services for young Nigerians to invest in foreign stocks.

The motion was filed by Chief Micheal Kaase Aondoakaa, SAN, on behalf of the Central Bank Of Nigeria Governor for the purpose of probing the defendants’ financial activities in Nigeria.

The CBN alleged that the companies operated without license as asset management companies and utilized “FX sourced from the Nigerian FX market for purchasing foreign bonds/shares in contravention of the CBN circular referenced TED/FEM/FPC/GEN/01/012, dated July 01, 2015.”

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Aondoakaa claimed that the foreign exchange deals done with the defendants was part of what was making the Naira weaker to the United States dollars, hence, the need to block 15 of their accounts for about 180 days.

Justice Ahmed Mohammed granted the freezing order to last 180 days.

Part of the motion moved by Aondoakaa read :

“An Interim Order of this Honorable Court empowering the Plaintiff/ Applicant to direct the Head Offices of ZENITH BANK PLC (Churchgate Street, Victoria Island, Lagos), GUARANTY TRUST BANK PLC (Plot 635, Akin Adesola, Victoria Island, STANDARD CHARTERED BANK (142, Ahmadu Bello Way, Victoria Island, Lagos.), ACCESS BANK OF NIGERIA (999c, Danmole Street, Off ldejo Street, Off Adetola Odeku Street, Victoria Island, Lagos), VFD MICROFINANCE BANK (Elephant House. 5, Floor, 214 Broad Street, Marina Island, Lagos), to freeze forthwith all the bank accounts of the Defendants/ Respondents for a period of 180 days pending the outcome of investigation and inquiry conducted by the CBN.”

In an affidavit filed by a Senior Supervisor of the CBN, Christiana Gyang, the apex bank had reviewed the activities of the defendants to determine their alleged involvement in illegal foreign exchange (FX) dealings.

She stated that investigation showed that the platforms were violating Nigeria’s trading laws.

“Rise Vest Technologies Limited was Incorporated in October 2018 with objects of technological and business consultancy.

“The shareholders of the company at incorporation were Eke Eleanya Urum and Rise Vest Technologies Limited (USA). The company partners with companies involved in payments and settlements as well as internal and international remittances.

“However, information on the company’s website indicated that it is an asset management company, which provides a platform for customers to invest in foreign instruments using an app called “Risevest”.

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